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Kimchi Stew (김치 찌개, Kimchi Jjigae)

Kimchi Stew - Easy Korean Recipes

Kimchi Jjigae is a classic comfort food. Koreans will make this rich, hearty stew when their kimchi in the fridge has become too sour to eat as a banchan (side dish). Never throw out old kimchi! You can make a multitude of delicious recipes from old kimchi. The taste of this stew is very dependent on the taste of the old kimchi (all kimchi tastes a little different and ferment to a different taste). For this reason, your kimchi jjigae will taste slightly different every time even when you use the same recipe.

You should actually be able to find kimchi at your local supermarket in the refrigerated, jarred produce section. Most of the time, these will already be ripened enough to make kimchi jjigae right away!

This recipe is very basic, but you can add more items to it if you want. Some common alternative/extra ingredients added to kimchi jjigae are dduk (sweet rice cake) and fish cake. I have also used spam instead of pork when I am in a pinch for time!

Quick notes:

⏲<1 hour

🇰🇷 Some ingredients may need to be bought at a Korean grocery or online.

👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Serves 4 people

👍🏻 Very easy and great for beginners!

What you'll need:

3 cups of sour ripe kimchi roughly chopped if you have whole kimchi

¼ cup of kimchi brine

6 cups of water

handful of kelp

10 dried anchovies, gutted

4 cloves of whole garlic

½-1 lb of pork (I used spare ribs, but pork belly and pork loin are good choices too)

1 package of tofu

2 tablespoons of red hot pepper paste

1 tablespoon of red hot pepper flakes

1 tablespoon of sugar

3 green onions

1 teaspoon of sesame oil


First let’s make the stock:

Pour 6 cups of water into a medium sized pot. Bring to a boil, and add the 10 dried anchovies, handful of kelp, and whole garlic cloves. Cover, and boil on medium heat for 15 minutes. Take out the kelp anchovies and garlic and discard. You should be left with a nice broth.

Now the rest:

Add the pork and bring to a boil for 5 minutes. The scum and fat will rise to the top. Skim and discard. Add the kimchi to the pot, and simmer on low for at least 30 minutes (the longer it simmers, the softer the meat will become). Cut the tofu and add to the stew along with the red pepper paste, red pepper flakes, and sugar. Bring to boil on med-high heat for at least 5 minutes. Then add green onion and sesame oil.

Serve with a bowl of rice, and enjoy! And when you're done, be sure to post some pictures and tag them with #ahjummarecipes. I'd love to see your results!

Some common Korean ingredients that may be hard to find at your local grocery store!

Black Bean Paste

Red Hot Pepper Paste

Red Hot Pepper Flakes

Dried Kelp (for broth)

Dried Anchovies (for broth)

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Who am I? YouTube/internet self-taught Korean cook, full-time working mommy of two, ahjumma and proud of it, I'm a Kim that makes bap!

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